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Hegel: From the modern state to the end of history

  • Alberto L. Siani
Monday 4 April 2016 - Thursday 7 April 2016
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 4
2311 BZ Leiden
Alberto L. Siani

The Institute for Philosophy in Leiden is pleased to announce a lecture series from 4-8th April, 2016 by Dr. Alberto L. Siani, Associate Professor from the Yeditepe University-Istanbul.


Hegel’s Outlines of the Philosophy of Right (published in 1821 for didactic purposes) is among the most important works in practical (moral, social and political) philosophy in the whole history of philosophy. Because of its philosophical depth and linguistic and conceptual difficulties the work has been interpreted and misinterpreted in very different ways, and even dismissed as a forerunner of Nazism in Germany. While such radical critiques completely miss the focus, Hegel’s philosophy of right has been the subject of more sophisticated, or even revolutionary, philosophical critiques, especially Marx’s one. More recently, Fukuyama articulated his controversial yet influential “end of history” thesis referring to Hegelian concepts. 

In this lecture series we will pursue, after a brief introduction to the philosophical and historical context of Hegel’s philosophy of right, a close reading of selected fundamental passages from the Outlines, focusing on the notorious Preface, on the concept of freedom in the Introduction, on the transition from morality to ethical life, on the theory of the state, and on world history. Finally, we will discuss Marx’s materialistic critique of Hegel’s philosophy of right in general and of history in particular, and Fukuyama’s thesis of the end of history.

Lecture plan:

4th April 2016, 15-17: Hegel’s Outlines of the Philosophy of Right (PR): Preface

5th April 2016, 15-17: PR: Introduction. Right, Freedom, Subject

6th April 2016, 15-17: PR: Ethical Life, State and World History

7th April 2016, 15-17: From the Modern State to the End of History: Hegel, Marx, Fukuyama

These lectures will take place in Mathias de Vrieshof 4, 008a


Biographical note:

Alberto L. Siani received his PhD through a joint program of the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Italy) and the FernUniversität Hagen (Germany) with a dissertation on art and politics in G.W.F. Hegel (2010). After two years as a Humboldt Post-Doc Fellow at the Universität Münster (Germany), he is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy of Yeditepe University, Istanbul (Turkey). He published several monographs, articles and collected volumes in English, Italian and German, mostly on the philosophy of Hegel and German Idealism and its relevance for the identity of the modern Western world. Besides, he works on contemporary political philosophy, especially John Rawls’s political liberalism and the philosophy of human rights.



G.W.F Hegel, Outlines of the Philosophy of Right, edited by S. Houlgate, Oxford University Press: Oxford 2008 (selected passages).

K. Marx, The German Ideology, in K. Marx, Selected Writings, edited by D. McLellan, Oxford University Press: Oxford 2000 (selected passages).

F. Fukuyama, The End of History? (http://www.wesjones.com/eoh.htm)

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